Saturday, October 15, 2005


Saturday night, so the weirdos who go out during the week stay in with the doors locked, the windows bolted and all of the lights out in order to not attract the attention of the weekend masses out violently commiserating the fact that they hate their jobs.

The brave might want to take an underground tunnel to the Five Lamps on Duffield Road to see The Basement Tapes (ours) support Spargo (Australian). £1 before 9pm. £3 after.

Along with The Great Deceiver (at the Gates), Dreadnought and Fruion the Vic is playing host to the IRA! I presume this means that the demolition gets underway tonight. I wondered about Micky and all them trips to Ireland. That one's £5.


Junkmedia report that Billboard report that Franz Ferdinand's second album sold 81,000 copies in the U.S in the week of it's release. Good for them.

Any week now I'm anticipating that issue of the NME where the band are on the cover photographed in front of something iconically American (Statue of Liberty, The Alamo, Mount Rushmore, Route 66 roadsign) with the strapline "Franz Ferdinand Take America", and a story playing up the 'mayhem' surrounding their U.S gigs in venues one-tenth of the size of the places they're accustomed to.

I could name so many bands who've been the subject of this EXACT same copy of the NME. I'm convinced they dust down an old word document and search and replace the names.

The whole thing fools no-one. I've no idea what the point they're attempting to illustrate is beyond 'we told you this band were good, and now LOOK - they're even good in America'. No fashionable UK indie exports easily to the U.S - the thinking being that 'they just don't get it', which is of course misleading, the truth is 'they're just not bothered'.

We have an easier time of sending our unfashionable stuff out there. Ask Chris Martin. How he must cry himself blind at the NME's cruel jibes as he flips Gwyneth over for another go.

Friday, October 14, 2005


Komakino are doing a two-nighter stint (of sorts) in London as part of the Drowned in Sound 5th birthday celebrations.

Tonight you'll find some of them DJ-ing (I'm guessing Martin and Stuart as that's what they do at Screamadelica on Tuesdays) at the Barfly, 49 Chalk Farm Road, NW1 alongside folks from Cooper Temple Clause, Hope of the States and someone called Olly from White Heat/Snow White. £5 in advance, £7 on the door. £6 dressed up as a pirate, to you.

Tomorrow night they'll be playing live at Notting Hill Arts Club, 21 Notting Hill Gate, W11 on a bill featuring Lucida Console and Up-C Down-C Left-C Right C + [START]. Free Admission.

Them's busy kidz. More of that soon.


The Pipettes : Don't make me caption this.

Go here to gawp at the video for 'Dirty Mind' by The Pipettes.

Here for the videos to 'No Style' and 'Feel the Machine' by The Chalets.

admittedly, there are blokes involved in all of those videos, but I want me some Google traffic.

on an increasingly less female driven tip:

there's a new video for 'The Way You Used to Smile' by The Research

and the OUTRAGEOUSLY POLITICAL clip for '16 Military Wives' by The Decemberists.

if they don't work by the time you click on them, don't hesitate to ring up technical support anywhere but here.


Now that it's out of the way, I'm probably in the clear to voice my concerns about John Peel Day without raining on anyone's parade.

In the same way that I started hyperventilating when I saw the line-up for the John Peel Stage at Glastonbury this year, I can't help having similar reservations about everything being done in Peel's name. More to the point - I can't help having similar reservations about anything being done in Peel's name.

While "national treasures" Half Man Half Biscuit's gig at Liverpool Carling Academy made a lot of sense in both choice of act and location, the dozens of thrown-together bills full of predominantly pasty, serious, indie, guitar bands full of blokes seemed somewhat at odds with John Peel's famously broad tastes.

That aside, it has been well documented that the ever modest Peel would very probably be horrified at the idea of a day in his honour, as charged with sentimentality and nostalgia as it is.

Inevitably, those that he affected are going to want to preserve their memory of him and there's very little that can be done about that from beyond the grave. The worry is that an annual commemoration that doesn't even begin to get at the essence of what he was about will eventually see the true brilliance of Peel's outlook, impact and influence become all but forgotten.

Thursday, October 13, 2005


This taken from (I could let you guess...) No Rock N Roll Fun Blog:
We'd never really thought very much of anything Slipknot did was other than a pose, but at least we thought Corey Taylor's screams came from his heart. It turns out, though, that Taylor uses a screaming coach, called Melissa Cross.

She apparently sees nothing ironic in the concept of tutoring your scream:

Like a lot of music, there's a movement that occurs in the underground and it's a bunch of kids uniting under the idealism that music spawns. In the '80s there was this aggressive music because kids were pent up, and they needed to get it out. So the ultimate expression is to scream your guts out.

... but hey, if you're going to do some primal screaming, make sure you go to scream camp first so you can be properly organised.
All together now- "The singer out of Slipknot went to Rome to see the Pope, the singe..."


Tonight's live offering round our way is, naturally, The John Peel Day gig at the Victoria Inn (upon approach, watch out for stray wrecking balls). It's arranged in association with the BBC, the poster informs me. That's 'association' in the sense that it's not being broadcast anywhere and very probably no-one from the BBC will be there. They did do this however.

Tonight, Free Admission : Arrive early to
catch My Psychoanalyst.


At a guess, I'm reckoning that everywhere, and especially everywhere on the internet is going to be over-run with well-intended gushing tributes to John Peel today, so I won't. Thinking back to the time of his death, the one thing that annoyed me was seeing the smug face of Simon Bates paying tribute to his 'good friend John' on TV. Anyone who remembers anything about Radio 1 in the 1980s will recall quite how much Peel detested Simon Bates.

Here are my three favourite stories.

From the Telegraph:

"His disdain for Simon Bates was such that, on one occasion, Peel, his wife Sheila and Andy Kershaw were moved to take a 250-mile round-trip to High Wycombe simply to boo Bates's appearance as Abunazzar in Aladdin."

Peel himself:

"On one occasion Kid Jensen, Paul Burnett and myself - not a carefully honed fighting team, but nonetheless filled with drink - we went down and waited in the underground carpark at the BBC for the opportunity to beat up Simon Bates. Fortunately he didn't turn up, or we might have suffered an embarrassing reverse, as he's probably stronger than us."

My favourite of all though, was the time he was announcing a competition on-air to win a load of Godflesh goodies to coincide with their 'Mothra' single. Peel invited listeners to ring in and answer the question "Mothra is a fictional monster who manages to eat, communicate and reproduce using just the one orifice. Which daytime Radio 1 DJ does Mothra most resemble?"

God bless John Peel.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


Junkmedia informs me that former Talking Heads leader David Byrne has turned a Swedish factory into a musical instrument.

I'll resist the temptation to rush off to Sweden again this year. The last time I did that the Television Personalities stood me up.

Would it be uncharitable of me to suggest that in the struggle to write another chorus as good as that of 'Once in a Lifetime' David has allowed himself to become just a little distracted?

David Byrne : Massive suit not shown.

Swedish Factory : No comment.


Bit late on this one, as I thought that it actually came out NEXT week, but the debut 7" single from Sheffield's Umlaut (though, I'm inclined to think it should be Ümlaüt - don't they want to be heavy metal or something?) entitled 'Winter Coat' is available to buy and has been since Monday just gone. Oops.

Sheffield band, yes. Not very Derby is it? It is when you discover that the band contain none other than Tom Arnold (formerly of European Sun), a Derby-ite through and through. Worry not, he'll return here once the new lights cease to seem so shiny to him. They all come back in the end.

If you're in the mood for some live acoustic gentleness you may want to go out here this evening:

here are those links in clickable form.
The Little Explorer
Chris Jones
Ben Walker
Lucy Day


Now that Tony and his boys have more time on their hands while George decides which oil-rich nation of little brown people to devastate next, it seems they've put a plan into action to assist pale young boys with their 7 inchers.

It's difficult to say whether this is a good or a bad thing. It's encouraging that someone somewhere in power realises that over the last 25+ years it's the independents that have saved the UK music industry's arse too many times to count without taking their shoes and socks off. Or at least, there's a kind of tacit acknowledgement that small labels have proved extremely lucrative as a talent pool for the entertainments divisions of giant, lumbering, arms manufacturing corporations.

My honest feeling is that the whole thing is best left alone. Inevitably, the focus will fall on the financial aspect of the business. Which, as anyone that's ever had a passing interest in homegrown record labels knows has never been the point. As a general rule these things are run as a labour of love, and usually at a loss to those who start them. Ironically, in this instance, a great many of them are funded by civil service salaries.

Still it's worth reading the article, if only to discover that we actually have a minister for music in this country. And it's always funny to hear politicians talk about rock n roll.

"Wooh! Yeah! You people by the filing cabinets!
are ya havin' a GOOD TIME?!"

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Thought I'd take the opportunity to draw your attention to the closest that Derby has to the Television Personalities (see below), they being the unpredictable but thoroughly charming (see the connection? see? see?) Mascot Fight.

Formed in 2004 by Tom John and Doddsy (no, I've not missed a comma out there), they've been cutting their teeth in the three buildings that will let them in this city ever since. Often ramshackle and on one occasion to the point of delivering the most shambolic (and debatably, the best) gig I've ever seen their melodic charms more often than not manage to find a way through the mayhem.

Thanks to their MySpace page you don't have to take my word for it. Go there to hear the fine, fine 'Thinking in French'.

Doddsy Fight : Pre-Sauve.

On a seperate Derby note - The Parents can be found supporting The Glitterati at the as-yet-unbulldozed Victoria Inn this evening. Head down there whenever you're ready.


Those of you living in London have the good fortune to be able to go see the Television Personalities play at the Luminaire (wherever that is. What am I, your A-Z?) tonight.

Formed waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in 1977, they're STILL remembered by the casual music fan as the band that released 'Part-Time Punks' when in fact, their history is long, deep and to say the least tempestuous.

These days they're signed to Domino Records, home of Franz Ferdinand and The Northern Libertines Arctic Monkeys. Curiously, there's no mention of them on the Domino website. Any which way, there's a new album recorded and set to be released ANY YEAR NOW!


Seems that everyone's on about Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
at the mo'. Downloaded their debut album courtesy of my friend and stellar web celebrity who, on account of me not wanting to get him into all manner of trouble I shall refer to as Lovely Feller Paul. Thanks, Pauly.

Based on a couple of listens it's all doing what it should. Vocally, Mr Clap is somewhere between David Byrne and Tom Verlaine. The backing jangle comes on like a more-upbeat Velvet Underground/Galaxie 500/Luna. There's a regrettable outbreak of Bob Dylan-style harmonica on 'Details of the War', but I'll forgive them that. Just don't do it again.

There's a thing with some albums, whereby you can tell right off that they're going to be bothering you to play them over and over again. I think that's what I've got here. There's also the fact that I don't want to miss the boat quite as spectacularly as I did with The Arcade Fire. I'm not going to have kids laughing at me in the street again. Well, at least not about music.

Only time will tell whether they'll get played so many times that I go to Reveal and actually buy it. I'll keep them posted.

Monday, October 10, 2005

I <3 TEH GREEN DAY!!!!111 OMG!!! WTF?!?!?! LOL!?!?!

This from the ever-superb No Rock N Roll Fun blog:

Proving that large gigs these days barely has anything to do with music, the people behind recent Avril Lavigne and Green Day gigs have hooked up a big monitor to display text messages above the stage while the band is on.

The people who've cooked up the technology are thrilled with their own brilliance:

"We've done this at bars with 30 people and at shows with 40,000 people, and the dynamics are totally different," said Alex Campbell, CEO of Chicago's Vibes Media, one of a growing number of companies that supply venues with the software to do in-house text messaging. "At a House of Blues show with 2,000 people, it's more of a back-and-forth conversation and interaction between people, like at a Las Vegas [show] with Hoobastank where we had a guy dump his girlfriend via texting and then all these other guys were trying to pick her up. But at a show with 30,000 people, it's just about getting your name up there and giving a shout-out and getting noticed."

We're not sure if this merely an admission that megagigs now are so huge it's virtually impossible to even spot the artist miles and miles away from you, so you actually need to have something to keep your interest; or else it's merely accepting that there's bugger all happening on the stage at a Hoobastank gig and people would rather read some barely-literate SMS messages from people they don't know than actually listen to the band.

Of course, a lot of it is merely about opening up the crowd for being shaken down by commercial companies - although they deny there's any money in it for them. Yet:

Sprint, one of many major carriers that offer the service, coordinated the texting at a recent Avril Lavigne show and has signed on to provide the service for Bon Jovi's upcoming tour in support of their new album, Have a Nice Day. "It's not a moneymaker for us, but we're hoping that as it becomes more popular it will become a standard part of what the tour manager thinks about when he's putting together the lighting, pyro and other equipment he needs for a tour," said John Styers, director of data communications services for Sprint.

"This really extends what is typically a two-hour event into a longer experience," he continued. "An hour after the show you can ping the phones of the people who sent messages and let them know about a special Web site with exclusive behind-the-scenes material and more information on the band."

... or, presumably, an exciting new telephony service from Sprint telecom.

We like the idea of concerts being interactive. But the best way, surely, is to play your arse off and make everyone leap about like they're crazy?

Of course it would be irresponsible of me to suggest, should this godawful idea take hold, that everybody text 'I hv plced n xplosive dvice in teh bldg. u hv 3 mins. LOL'.


Sorry, wrong band. Currently drawing me across Waterstone's to the music section every time I go in there is the (semi auto) biography of Jeff 'Stinky' Turner, 'Cockney Reject'. Co-written by the political lobotomy that is Garry (there's nothing under this) Bushell.

Who, you ask? Jeff Turner is the singer in The Cockney Rejects, a sub-Sham 69 second/third generation UK punk rock band, the favourites of West Ham's football hooligan crowd during the late seventies/early eighties.

It's an intriguing thing. Every anecdote seems to focus on the casual violence that surrounded them - "We were well excited to be doing Top of the Pops. Nobbo punched the BBC Security guard's head off", "This was our first real tour. We punched absolutely everybody we saw".

Apparently Jeff was a talented amateur boxer before his music career. By this reasoning you might expect Marvin Hagler's autobiography to consist of a detailed index of every jab, hook and uppercut he's ever thrown, and nothing else.

It ought to offend the book's intended audience that it's printed in large type and generously spaced (I'd love to be making this up), which for some reason puts the image in my head of Garry 'Bluto' Bushell pressing his sausage-y fingers onto his computer monitor and hammering away at the space bar after typing every word.

Perhaps MOST disturbing is the foreword by Morrissey coupled with the rumour that he is working on new material with the band. I wonder if Jeff Turner understands the homoerotic appeal of the pugilist? There's gonna be a proper rumble when he finds out.

Derby Music News - NOTHING. It's a Monday.

Sunday, October 09, 2005


Sad to hear this week that Sultans of Ping have reformed. Originally the results of a fresher's week party gone Dada their not-short-enough career blazed a trail that was by turns novelty, hugely irritating and desperate. Solely remembered for their single 'Where's me jumper?' they hung around for a number of years after it's limited success like a bad family secret.

Unfortunately, there are those here who remember them changing their name from 'Sultans of Ping FC' to 'Sultans of Ping' as some kind of misguided, death-throes attempt to be taken more seriously. A novelty act trying to get taken seriously? it's like when the best looking singer from a recently split boyband makes their solo album for 'a more mature audience'. Only with a traffic cone on his head.

Since the news I've tried to gauge whether the Sultans or Goldie Lookin' Chain are a more traumatic experience to live through to limited success. I'm going to need a customised DeLorean and a sphygmomanometer for this one.

In Derby music news, I went to see Plans and Apologies' gig at the Heritage (nee Pennine) Hotel last night. Strange venue, the band played very well, as ever. Though when the concierge asked if I was there for the drum n bass night, it took all of my willpower not to reply "And guitar and keyboards. And singy-man".

P&A (l-r): Miikhul Promark Dastardly, Wilson Pleasant, Alfie Pintsworth,
Truman True, Mallard the Wonderdog, Talcum Buffalo, DJ Beatzley.